DREW STUBBS IS AMONG NL LEADERS IN STRIKEOUTS, BUT IS LACKING IN OTHER AREAS
FEAR AND LOATHING IN CENTER
REDS' OUTFIELDER DREW
STUBBS IS AMONG NL LEADERS IN STRIKEOUTS, BUT IS LACKING IN OTHER AREAS
When the Cincinnati
Reds selected Drew Stubbs during the first round (eighth overall) of the
2006 amateur entry draft, they knew what kind of player they had just
landed. During Stubbs' three years ('04-'06) as a Texas Longhorn, he posted
some pretty serious numbers. His Freshman year, Stubbs played in 71 games
for the Longhorns and hit a respectable .301 in 266 at-bats. Driving in 47
runs along with 26 stolen bases, scoring 51 times, and hitting sixteen doubles, Stubbs
was on his way to becoming the next Longhorn star.
Through '05 and '06, Stubbs increased his numbers significantly. At twenty
years of age during his sophomore season at Texas, Stubbs raised his
average to .311 while driving in 46 runs. In 72 games, Stubbs increased his
doubles (20), stolen bases (32), walks (32), and homerun (11) totals from
his previous season. Stubbs was developing very nicely.
In Drew Stubbs' final season as a Texas Longhorn, he was named co-MVP of the
squad and was also tagged as the Big 12 co-Player of the Year. The
three-time All-American had a fantastic Junior season batting .342 in 62
games. Stubbs scored 65 runs, hit 12 homers, and stole 26 bases in 2006 for
the Longhorns. While playing superb defense, Stubbs' showcased his five-tool
talent and secured a spot among baseball's top prospects.
Now that we've praised Drew Stubbs' baseball ability and discussed the
reasoning behind his first-round selection, we will digress. Not to
downgrade or minimize Drew Stubbs' capability, or to disrespect the Reds
organization, but to simply point out one thing.... strikeouts.
Here's where it gets interesting. During Stubbs freshman season at Texas, he
struck out 28% of the time, but brought it down to 25% as a sophomore and
junior. During '04-'06 while Stubbs was playing at Texas, former Longhorn
quarterback Adam Dunn (hated by many Reds fans for his K's) led the NL in
strikeouts (195, 168, 194) while playing for Cincinnati.
During Dunn's three
year strikeout fest, he struck out 33% of the time. Obviously Dunn's
strikeout total was repulsive (557) during '04-'06, but he made up for it
with his offensive production. Posting a .249 average throughout the three
years Dunn hit 126 homers, 93 doubles, scored 311 runs, drove in 295 runs,
and walked 334 times all while missing only five games. Strikeouts are
acceptable when a player composes such statistics.
After leaving the Big 12, Drew Stubbs became substantially prone to striking
out. Playing 56 games for the Billings Mustangs in 2006, Stubbs whiffed 64
times in 210 at-bats (30%) while posting a .252 average. His first full
season in the Reds organization was with the Dayton Dragons during 2007.
Stubbs struck out 29% of the time and scored 93 runs in '07, but drove in a
measly 43 runs as his average modestly increased (.270).
Stubbs climbed the minor league ladder during 2008, and seemed to be
developing attractively, as he cut down his strikeouts. In 131 games with
Sarasota, Chattanooga, and Louisville Stubbs batted .290 and struck out only
26% of the time but was still struggling offensively. He drove in 57 runs
and homered only seven times. Stubbs was consistently rabid when he was on
base scoring 75 times and stealing 33 bags (led Reds minor leagues), but it
was not often enough with his .373 OBP.
Before making his major league debut on August 19, 2009, Stubbs spent most
of the year in Louisville. He played 107 games for the Bats in '09, hit
.268, homered three times, and drove in 39 runs as he represented the Reds
in the 2009 All-Star Futures Game. Stubbs cut down his strikeout percentage
to .250 and was considered the Reds' third best prospect behind Yonder
Alonso and Todd Frazier. After being called up to the big leagues, Stubbs
showed reasonable promise in only 42 games. He struck out 27% of the time
but scored 27 runs, hit eight homeruns, and drove in seventeen runs
finishing the season with the Reds.
The year is 2010. Drew Stubbs made the Opening Day roster for the Reds.
Hitting first and seventh in the Reds' lineup, Stubbs currently has a .231
average, 15 stolen bases, 31 RBI, 36 runs scored, seven doubles, and seven
homeruns in 69 games. His .306 OBP has kept his deadly speed off the base
Stubbs' 74 strikeouts currently tie him for seventh in the NL. Justin Upton,
Rickie Weeks, David Wright, Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Ryan Howard, and Dan
Uggla are impressive players who also share the top ten strikeout list with
Stubbs, but they all set them selves apart from him with their offense.
All ten have AT LEAST ten homers, ten doubles, 38 RBI, and 38 runs scored
except Stubbs. He has the second worse average among them with the third
worse being .254 (Uggla). Remember Adam Dunn's 33% strikeout rate during
2004-'06? Drew Stubbs' is 31% so far in 2010. Strikeouts are acceptable when
a player produces other quality statistics. At 25 years old, Drew Stubbs is
Drew, we like you. We really do. We're aware that your development in the
minor leagues peaked and it's time for the majors, but we need more from
you. Your speed and agility in the outfield are priceless along with your
cannon of an arm. When you reach, you are arguably the best base runner on
the team, but it needs to happen more frequently.
Shorten your swing. Level it out. Get on base.
Stop striking out!
to be skipped, Chapman to 'pen
few minutes with Dusty and Elvin
on voting in the free world
Bruce improving against lefties
saves Reds' road trip
on West Coast